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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update
Well the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has landed and, after the big download, it comes with quite an array of tweaks and new features....

posted on: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Of VM woes...
Actually not so much VM woes as out-of-date underlying OS. Yes, the new term is hitting so I thought it appropriate to upgrade ArcGIS to the same version used on campus - that meant going from 10....

posted on: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Got an old ISO disc image....
.... as I have. I was interested in accessing the contents of an old ISO disc image from an age old data CD. There are a number of tools to look inside these, but at times you just want to emulate a CD/DVD drive and run it directly. There are a range of tools to do this but I wondered if there was an easy option... and there is! Under Windows 10 you can now directly "Mount" the ISO image and it will appear as a new CD-ROM on your PC. Just right-click and "Mount." For older systems Microsoft do a device driver bundled as the Microsoft Virtual CDRom Control Panel (which I first came across here). Voila! Problem solved.

posted on: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

word word count
Yup, that's right... how do you do a word count in Word? Well, the simple answer is Alt-T, W and particularly for the ribbon-challenged like me who prefer the keyboard....

posted on: Wed, 17 Aug 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Kickstarter Plug: Spooly
Wanted to give a plug to Spooly who are running a Kickstarter campaign at the moment. I've not link to them, but the product looks great - I'm always on the lookup for innovative products that solve problems or make life easier. And this is a little gem - its a USB charge cable but incredibly small and rolls up into a perfectly neat package. What can you say other than a fantastic piece of design, doesn't cost much and worthy of the plug.

posted on: Sat, 14 May 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Column Numbers in Excel?
I've been doing some more programming in R recently and working on a large XLSX spreadsheet (using the excellent readxl package) where I needed to cross-reference columns. Excel painfully uses letters for column titles and I needed the column number; useful to know then that you can change this option in Excel: Pre-ribbon Go to Tools, Options, General, check 'R1C1 reference style' Ribbon Go Options, Formulas, check 'R1C1 reference style'

posted on: Thu, 12 May 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

GodMode
Seriously! In Windows 10, create a new folder and give it the following name: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} And you have a control panel link to ALL control panel settings. I am God!!

posted on: Mon, 07 Mar 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Distraction free writing
I wrote several years ago about distraction free writing and the portable Windows application Focus Writer, although over the last few years its Scrivener that has taken quite a few headlines....

posted on: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Universal Naked Driver
The first stage in replacing your stock Android phone, with a new ROM (for example CyanogenMod) is to replace the recovery partition on your device - for example here are the full instructions for my aging Moto e....

posted on: Mon, 28 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

FAT32 Redux
My earlier blog on exFAT reminded me that, as a general principle, Android devices can't access that filesystem (although there are some devices that have OEM support for it and some third party add-ons)....

posted on: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Getting FATter
Three years ago I blogged about using FAT32 beyond the 32Gb limit to format large external drives. The rationale for this was to have an disk file system that worked across operating systems and didn't run in to the complete drag that is NTFS file permissions....

posted on: Tue, 15 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

DOS For loop for iterating
I'm currently working on a pet project doing some timelapse (if you hadn't guessed!) involved geocoding the photos (and a much longer blog on this process at a later date once it's complete)....

posted on: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

DOS file listing
Need to get a plain and simple file listing from the command line in DOS to pipe in to a programme?? As ever a good starting point is to get help for the command. So: dir /? If you peruse through this you'll eventually work out that this is the command you want: dir /a-d /b > ..\list.txt The ">" symbol sends the output and stores it in a file. Make sure to specify "..\" before the filename so the file is saved in the directory above the existing one otherwise that file will be listed as well. And if you want to sort on (for example) filename then you add the "\on" switch: dir /a-d /b /on > ..\..\list.txt This will now save me looking that command up everytime!

posted on: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Visualisation Update
Following on from my neogeography/big data blog Edoardo L'Astorina at Blu Frame (web designers) contact me to note a review he's recently completed on 20 online visualisation tools. And it's a useful review and worth a look to see where things are at.

posted on: Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse: timeshift your timestamp!!
AS I noted in my previous blog entry, if you forget to set your time/date on your camera and its wrong, you need to reset it in order to get XnView to pull our this metadata and overprint it on your JPGs....

posted on: Sat, 05 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse Update
A little while back I blogged about producing a timelapse. That sorted out all of the main issues I had with setting a camera up and leaving it to record a timelapse of a scene....

posted on: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

VirtualBox Update
Just a reminder that VirtualBox remains a great option for virtualisation and running a range of operating systems....

posted on: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Turning Point Clickers Orphaned by Windows 10 @turningtech
I was just doing some testing of a remote polling session for a class this week so took my Turning Point RF Receiver and plugged it in to a Windows 10 desktop - yes its marketed as driver free (and hassle free) installation....

posted on: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Battery Discharge Fix
Well after the debacle that Google's upgrade of the Nexus 7 (2012) - just imagine wading through treacle and you'll get the idea as to the usability of Lollipop (e....

posted on: Sat, 03 Oct 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Firefox Resume Download
Firefox has a very effective resume download facility which is useful with big downloads (particularly as Im on 2Mb broadband) - however it consistently failed me when downloading the Windows 10 install ISO last week....

posted on: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Mencoder Timelapse
Ages ago I blogged about creating timelapse videos from my GoPro using Mencoder. This takes the output JPEGs from the camera (at 10s intervals) and the uses Mencoder to stack them in to an MJPEG using this command: mencoder "mf://*....

posted on: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... withholding your number when dialling from a mobile
Just dial 141 before making the call!

posted on: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Firefox US dictionary
Installed teh UK dictionary, but by default the US one is selected? In the portable version, simply delete the files from: FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\dictionaries

posted on: Sun, 21 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Adding subtitles....
Harking back to my earlier posts on transcoding DVDs for viewing on a Pico Projector, I have recently been trying to make sure (for one film) that subtitles transferred across....

posted on: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

USB Travel Tech
Having travel friendly devices and keeping them charged is a perennial problem. So, here below, some of my current favourite kit for on the go: 1....

posted on: Mon, 01 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Burning a DVD
Part of a note to self.... I wanted to burn a DVD of an mp4 i had downloaded and started looking around for an easy and quick way to do this....

posted on: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Getting things done.... update
Way back in 2008 I blogged about Getting Things Done.... David Allen's productivity system for busy people....

posted on: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Dice Player
I often download and later watch talks from TED, as well as a range of podcasts. Good presenters often talk quite slowly in order to improve clarity, particularly for live performances....

posted on: Sun, 15 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

FSP Viewer
In an earlier post I talked about the spherical panoramas we have created for the Studio of Objects project. These are humungous 295MP images which, even when compressed, are pretty big files. Obviously with a (spherical) panorama rather than just looking from left to right it would be good to be able to fully rotate (as if you were standing in the middle) around them, in the same way you can in a point cloud. Well there are a few viewers for spherical panos, my favourite being FSP Viewer which is fast and easy to use. (and once I've set up the online image viewing I'll post a pano there) in close association with hijack and Dacapo

posted on: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

The Doves Type
Adam Goddard sent me this link to a recreation of The Doves Type.... this story is told in the fabulous little layman's book entitled Just My Type that I recommend to my cartography students. There's no point in me recounting the story, just read about the font's recreation and buy a digital copy of it. It's a beautiful font and will set apart any publication you use it in.

posted on: Thu, 05 Feb 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Kingston MobileLite MLW221 Storage Reader
Just purchased the Kingston MobileLite MLW221.... this is potentially very useful as it helps (partially) solve the problem of reading storage medium from mobile devices when a computer isn't available....

posted on: Sat, 10 Jan 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

More Transcoding
Following on from my previous update, I had a serious problem with the audio syncing just on some DVDs. Not sure why and I tried various solutions to re-sync the audio, none of which worked. That sent me back to looking at alternatives to DVD Shrink to extract the VOB files from the disc - and the solution lay in the granddaddy, and original, DVD Decryptor (Wikipedia). This worked perfectly (although remember to switch to Mode->IFO) although all the VOBs are separate files. My preference is to merge them (using VOBMerge) before transcoding in TEncoder). So far its worked seamlessly.

posted on: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Transcoding Update
Following on from yesterday's post I hit a few problems with some encoding - whilst MPEGStreamClip worked fine (albeit slowly) with conversion from a DVD, it didnt work properly with a file copied off my Humax....

posted on: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Transcoding for the Acer C112
So, following on from the last post, in order to play videos reliably from the Acer C112 you need to transcode them....

posted on: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Pico Projectors
Pico projectors (not overly detailed Wikipedia page; a nice "simples" guide here) have been around for a few years now and - as the name suggests - offer projection in a small form factor over relatively short throw distances....

posted on: Wed, 03 Dec 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Android Mindmapping
I'm a big fan of mind mapping for blatting out ideas (using on a piece of paper!) and then structuring them in to an editable document....

posted on: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Adding a horizontal bar in Excel
This is one of those things you just think should be easy (one line of code in R!) and turns out to be not quite so simple!...

posted on: Tue, 06 May 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

PDF XChange Viewer
Just saw this come up - PDF-XChange Viewer - which is small, lightweight, fast and portable. Having played with it, it is now quite a bit faster than my old favourite (Foxit) so has replaced it. Sure its funding model is based around getting you to purchase the "pro" version which has a variety of features. But if all you want is fast and, well, fast, getting you viewing quicker and easier, then look no further

posted on: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Embedded PDF Viewer
Test post for an embedded PDF viewer using viewer.js.... very impressed and it supports ODF as well as PDF.

posted on: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Programming for geographers....
Nice thoughtful piece from Alex Singleton.... Very ,much in the vein of neogeography and touching upon the practical elements espoused in Mapping Hacks. More than ever, making use (aka hacking) of tools and methods to understand, develop and present thoughts, ideas and innovations is vital for those wanting to bring new energy, drive and value to the workplace. Get ahead, make yourself valuable.....

posted on: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry